Alpha Monocerotis

α Monocerotis

Alpha Monocerotis is an orange giant 144 light years; the brightest star in Monoceros, it's a fairly faint 3.94 visual magnitude.

Finding alpha Monocerotis shouldn't be difficult on a clear dark night. Using the naked eye, start at Procyon (alpha Canis Major), which you should have read about before visiting Monoceros.

Alpha Monocerotis is fifteen degrees (three binocular fields of view) due south of Procyon.

You can also draw a line between Procyon and Sirius, to the southwest. Now proceed down this line from Procyon two-thirds the distance, then move due east. The brightest star you'll encounter is alpha Monocerotis.

You'll note that you're nearly into Puppis, to the south.

In the same field of view, nearly centred, are two fine binaries, Struve 1112 and the fainter Struve 1111:
      Struve 1112: 6.0, 8.7; 114, 23.8".
      Struve 1111 (y/b): 8.9, 9.2; 221, 19.8". (Not in CDSA)

Centre alpha Monocerotis in your field of view and move northwest two and a half fields; this brings you to M50.

Click on M50 on the map for its details, and to continue exploring Monoceros.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.